Investment across a number of jurisdictions is increasingly a way of life for business today. This comparative guide provides a simple checklist with answers to standard questions raised by clients looking to invest in European jurisdictions. It focuses on 29 jurisdictions in Europe and enables a simple comparison between each jurisdiction.
The market for formation of companies in the European Economic Area (EEA) was liberalised as a result of the 2003 landmark judgment of the European Court of Justice in the Inspire Art case. This case laid down the rule of law that, subject only to exceptional cases, EEA jurisdictions could not impose extra conditions (such as minimum share capital) on ‘foreign’ EEA incorporated companies over and above those applying in its country of incorporation. This means that companies may freely form a legal entity in one EEA member state to do business in another. This publication may assist in the selection process for the most suitable jurisdiction.
The European Commission has recently proposed a new European Private Company Statute whereby a new company to be known as a Societas Privata Europaea (SPE) may be incorporated in each jurisdiction within the European Union. The SPE would have common characteristics, notwithstanding the country of incorporation, and could become the standard corporate vehicle to be used in each member state in future years. If this statute is enacted, the earliest date that an SPE would be available is July 2010.